Battling acne attacks? Fight back, with online care

Reviewed by Theresa H. Care Delivery Manager & Family Nurse Practitioner

Time saver 3 min read

According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, every year some 50 million Americans suffer from acne — a common yet super annoying skin condition. While acne tends to flare and be most active during the teenage and young adult years, breakouts can occur at any age (lucky you!). And when pimples pop up, it can take a toll on your self-esteem and emotional well-being. The good news is that acne is a treatable condition. And the sooner you seek treatment, the sooner you can say buh-bye to those pesky blemishes.

What causes acne?

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ? Yep, skin is a living ecosystem that’s affected by everything from your external environment to your internal hormones. And the reasons why some people develop acne can be complex. But, long story short, acne occurs when skin pores or hair follicles become clogged by excess oil, bacteria and dead skin cells. The blockage causes the surrounding skin to erupt into blemishes. But - as you well know - not all pimples are alike, and different types of acne require different treatments.

Different types of acne

If you’re experiencing acne breakouts, it’s important to understand the type(s) of acne you have. Does your acne look like little black dots peppering your nose? Or large and painful red bumps on your forehead? Let’s take a closer look at some common types of acne.

  • Blackheads – Painless open skin bumps that look like small black dots
  • Whiteheads – Small, inflamed skin bumps with a white or yellow raised center
  • Papules — Red or pink bumps under the skin that appear solid
  • Pustules — Pimples that have white or yellow pus at the center
  • Nodules — Hard, inflamed bumps that form deep within the skin
  • Cysts — Large painful lumps that tend to be soft to the touch

Regardless of what type of acne you have, it’s important to be gentle and patient with your skin. Do your best to fight the urge to pick at or pop acne as doing so can introduce bacteria into the area and lead to infection and scarring.

Clearing up acne misconceptions

Struggling with acne can be stressful. And unfortunately, there’s no quick fix or one-size-fits-all solution. The good news is that even severe cases of acne can be treated. But the process for treating a skin condition like acne takes time, consistency and the right treatment. And your acne treatment plan should take into account your skin type, age, health history and what kind of acne you have.

Let’s take a look at some common acne myths you may have heard — and even believed.

Myth Fact
There are quick fixes to cure acne. Treating acne takes time, consistency and the right approach.
Eating chocolate and greasy foods can lead to acne. Diet has minimal effect on acne.
Acne is related to dirty skin. Acne isn’t the result of dirty skin, and harsh soaps and scrubbing can actually make acne worse.
Popping pimples gets rid of acne faster. Popping pimples can irritate and inflame skin – opening skin up to bacteria and potential scarring.

Acne treatment options

When it comes to treating your acne, it’s important to stick with a gentle daily skin care routine and be consistent with following your treatment plan. Mild cases of acne that include blackheads and whiteheads are often treated with an over-the-counter retinoid cream and facial wash that includes benzoyl peroxide. For more severe cases of inflammatory acne, a prescription oral and/or topical skin medication is often most effective. And remember, what clears up someone else’s acne may not be effective for you.

Online acne treatment

Acne can make you feel uncomfortable in your own skin. That’s why it’s important to address acne as soon as possible and you don’t want to wait months to see a dermatologist. Thankfully, you don’t have to. Online acne treatment is available whenever you need it, 24/7. At Virtuwell, we’ll determine what type of acne you have and create a personalized treatment plan to help clear and heal your skin.

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